More than 50 dialysis patients in 12 states have come down with allergic reactions -- the largest outbreak of treatment-related allergic reactions in dialysis patients in the United States, according to media reports Monday quoting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Since the middle of November, 53 dialysis patients have developed reactions after receiving injections of heparin made by Baxter Healthcare Corp. And another 36 reports are under investigation.
The symptoms included facial swelling, nausea, rapid heart beat and decreased blood pressure. Some of these reactions might be severe or life threatening, Baxter officials said.
Recalled lots all came from a Baxter facility in Cherry Hill, N.J. The recall was specific to thousands of 1,000-unit, multi-dose vials, a company spokeswoman said.
CDC officials are looking into allergic-type reactions in seven cardiac patients in North Carolina who got Baxter-made heparin. They're also looking into four cardiac cases in Florida, including one patient who died.
The investigation is not related to reports of about 40 people in Illinois and Texas who developed blood infections after taking heparin made by another company, Sierra Pre-Filled. Those infections were caused by a bacteria called Serratia marcescens found in a single batch of heparin-filled syringes made by that company in Angier, N.C.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2008)